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Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

Pakistani Court Rules On Internet Censorship: Unconstitutional 79

Fluffeh writes "It looks like some Pakistanis are taking on 'the man.' With plans laid by the Pakistani Government that could sink up to fifty million websites that it isn't a fan of, Pakistanis took the matter to court — which ruled that such action by the government was unconstitutional. Reporters without Borders was however a little more skeptical 'The high court's ruling, if respected, would make it impossible for the government to introduce any nationwide website filtering system. While welcoming the ruling, which penalizes the lack of transparency in the PTA's past website blocking, Reporters Without Borders calls for vigilance because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions. '"
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Pakistani Court Rules On Internet Censorship: Unconstitutional

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  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:15AM (#39867609)

    Our guys have been asleep at the wheel for the last 10 years. I'm pretty sure at this point that most of the U.S. Justices don't even know there *is* a 4th Amendment, much less what it says.

  • by HarrySquatter ( 1698416 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:25AM (#39867713)

    And don't forget about being the one's who come up with the terrorist plots in order to foil them. []

  • by WOOFYGOOFY ( 1334993 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:42AM (#39867905)

    The government can't be seen offending their own people. They're more progressive than they let on. Because of the threat of violence from the religious fundies, the progressives often disguise their actions or appear to be "arguing for" something they are actually against.

    All of the institutions in Pakistan have to walk lines between the progress the lawyers and intellectuals and professors want to see happen and what the religious fundies will tolerate. It's not that different in the US. as the etch-a-sketch positioning in the Republican primaries reveal. You can't alienate that much of your (stupid) electorate and expect to get or stay in power.

    The government and most of the military in Pakistan hates the Taliban as much as anyone and was as glad as we were when we did bin Laden Of course they had to act outraged.

    Pakistan is chock -o-block full with highly intelligent forward looking progressives who aren't drinking the Kool-aid. That's why the drone program is a great thing. The religious head cases in Waziristan are hated by many Pakis as much as they're hated by us, and both the Pakistan government and its military smile every time a fundie gets dished out to him what he earnestly sought to dish out to civil society.

    Just like with any other country, you can't understand the international headlines unless you have at least a basic grasp of the domestic politics.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:55AM (#39868055)
    People are trained from kindergarden onwards to think that if someone tries to do something privately or in secret, they must be doing something that breaks the rules. We are also trained from kindergarden onwards to think that the rules are sacred and must not be broken, so people wind up thinking that anyone who wants privacy must be doing some immoral.

    What, you want to have privacy? What are you trying to hide?
  • Re:LOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:00AM (#39868107)

    in the USA they are still stuck at the 'watch him long enough and eventually he'll commit a crime' stage.

    FTFY. Here in the US, we get around the "well you can only arrest people who break the law" by creating so many laws and such a complex legal system that almost everyone is guilty of something.

  • Re:LOL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @11:10AM (#39868233)

    No major government body in the US is trying to block fifty million websites

    I guess lobbyists from the MPAA and RIAA are not technically part of the government; they only pad the wallets of politicians and draft legislation for them.

    the US rejected any form of blasphemy laws as unconstitional quite some time ago

    While simultaneously making other classes of speech illegal. Just because we violate free speech rights differently than the Pakistanis would does not mean that we are not violating free speech rights.

    As to the matter of grope sessions to fly planes- Pakistan has essentially close to almost no equivalent of Fourth Amendment protections

    So on the one hand, Pakistan has no privacy laws, and on the other the US simply ignores its privacy laws and publicly humiliates its citizens. Here is the question you were trying to answer, but failed to: does Pakistan grope its citizens en masse, the way the United States does?

    there's no question that human rights have been getting better in Pakistan

    Here is what you left out: human rights have been getting worse in the United States, and are worsening at an accelerating pace. Freedom of speech? Only if you do not bother the important people with it. Privacy rights? Only if you never travel or communicate electronically. The right to live a free and happy life? Only if you are not a member of the world's largest prison population, which in case anyone has forgotten is the prison population of the United States.

    To put it another way, is it the US or Pakistan that has paramilitary police forces that shoot innocent people with assault rifles and add personal assets to their budgets, with the approval and encouragement of the government?

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.